In the movie, one of the greatest leaders in British history is shown as quite weak and questioning as if he didn't know what to do. Unlike so many leaders today as well as his predecessor, Neville Chamberlain, Sir Winston knew he was born to lead and that is what he set out to do. So, a great disservice was done to not only his record but his place in history. And isn't it ironic that he is placed in the same light as Chamberlain, a man who disgraced himself by appeasing Hitler at Munich in 1938, the very action that let Hitler know he was free to act. Britain did not want another Chamberlain and that's what brought Churchill to power. And while some have argued for the weak position by citing the fact that Churchill saw the disaster known as Dunkirk take place under his watch. But remember, Churchill took office on May 10, 1940, a mere sixteen days before the Dunkirk debacle took placed. No one in their right mind can blame Churchill for that.
A key example of the movie's misrepresentation of Churchill is found in a key scene where Churchill has to travel by subway and he dramatically asks citizens on board what they thought needed to be done. Joe Wright's presentation would have you think that he finally decided action was needed because of their counsel, and that his historic speech was a result of that encounter. That is far from the case.
Churchill biographers William Manchester and Joe Reid have reported just the opposite. The new Prime Minister knew what had to be done and was determined to do it. Any so-called time lapse in action was due to his knowledge of the limitation of material to support such an effort. But he in no way would stand down to the threat of Hitler like his predecessor, for he knew that would lead to the end of Britain as he knew it. And he also calculated correctly that if Britain could just hang on long enough, America would be forced to join in the fray. He knew that Hitler with his mindset would never be happy with just securing Europe as is prize for aggression.
Wright should be congratulated, however, for a compelling movie, it's just very unfortunate the moviegoers who witness it should leave the theater thinking they just saw a good depiction of Churchill, the man. Sadly, it is anything but that and it just shows how with Hollywood, the true depiction isn't important, just the attractiveness of the story line. And even worse, the story line is tied to ideological preference. And that, my readers, is the real problem that the movie leaves behind. See it, but make sure that what you are seeing on the screen isn't considered the same as witnessing the actual event. What is being shown is anything but the reality that was Sir Winston Churchill.
Hat tip to National Review